Yelp is proud to celebrate Black History Month by honouring and spotlighting incredible local Black-owned businesses. Let’s take a look at Toronto’s own Black-Owned TO. An incredible hub and resource to find wonderful Black-owned businesses, as well as a budding store and photography space. If you haven’t heard of them yet, read on…
Thank you so much for chatting with us, Kerin! Yelp adores you and your initiative, tell us more…
My name is Kerin John. I’m 24 years old, born and raised in Toronto. My mother immigrated here from the beautiful island of Grenada. I have a strong Caribbean foundation.
Why did you create BlackOwnedTO?
I created the Black Owned Toronto Instagram page in May of 2020. My New Year’s resolution for that year was to start supporting more Black-owned businesses. But, it was extremely difficult for me to find them, especially locally! So I created the page in hopes of finding businesses through recommendations, and sharing them for people in the GTA to discover! The page grew tremendously in a very short period of time, getting 20,000 in a single day.
What does your business offer currently, and in a post-Covid world?
We have so many amazing resources! Our “Business Hub” is our photography studio/creative space. Local photographers/videographers can rent out the space for very affordable prices! Or they can book any of our in house business services, such as product photos and headshots. We host local events and markets. Such as our Holiday Market at Stackt Market last November, that featured over 25 local Black vendors! We also have an online store with a pick up location and a Canada-wide directory.
Share one biz you really think people in TO/GTA should know about that has captured your heart:
Ouff! This is a hard one! Probably RoyalTea Coffee. Edill, a young Black boss woman, was able to open up her own coffee shop last year! We’re both only 24 and have related so much, talking about the struggles we’ve faced starting our businesses. Being Black, and on top of that being women that are so young.